Heather Adams OOD, and Rob Adams with Tim Young in the safety boat.

B Course

There was time for us to have a race before the Vets HORR (Head of the River Race) that runs on the falling tide. Tim and Rob in the safety boat had a friendly conversation with the PLA launch crew who were happy with our reassurance that we would be off the river in time for their race.

A little bit of anxiety over an apparent ‘no start’ from the outboard. For the record and for future drivers the issue was two-fold: first, no petrol through the supply pipe (push the bubble down in the loose/motor end and ensure flow by pumping the squeezer). Second issue was the kill chord: it was on but in the wrong position i.e. above the ring that allows the engine to start.

The weather was good for a sail with a good force 3-4 Westerly at the start of the race. 4 boats launched but Kieth Clarke in his Laser (Kaia) never really got away from the club hard and retired. The remaining three, Chris Greenwood and Felicia Biekark in DistantThunder (Leader), James Armitage and novice crew Pacu Biekark in Zephyr (Enterprise), and Olly and Billy Adams in Spinosaurus (Mirror), got away for a good start with the Mirror out in front. Chris and Felicia spent a little time in the trees on the Surrey bank fixing their rudder and set off 100yds behind. Cracking planing run down to the buoy at Chiswick Staithe, by which time the Mirror had been overhauled by both big boats but not without a spirited defence of its position.

This was the order for the rest of the race, but the Leader had closed the gap on the Enterprise. A few close calls with all crews experiencing SGSC wind changes. Olly reported that he had water over the side for the first time! 180 degree shifts on the beat challenging the combatants! Three laps completed with the average sail time of an hour.

Finally nice high tide to make boat recovery easy pulling boats straight into the yard.

Next week is an A-course, starting at 16:50.

Rob Adams